By Jasmine Shelton-Stanley
Managing Editor- Eagle’s Eye Online
North Carolina native, and ROC nation artist J.Cole dropped a fire new album “ 4 Your Eyez Only” on Dec. 9. “4 Your Eyez” is the 4th studio album by Cole, and it dropped on the two year anniversary of Cole’s last studio album “2014 Forest Hills Drive.” Cole steps outside of the box with this album by telling a story, not just his story but the story of James, a friend of Cole’s that was murdered at the young age of 22. 4 Your Eyez is a letter that James wrote for Cole to read to his daughter once she was old enough. The album includes 10 tracks, with no features and nothing but stand out hits. “Deja Vu”, “Change”, and “4 Your Eyez Only” are just a couple of these hits.
Most people would recognize Cole’s third track “Deja Vu” as Bryson Tiller’s hit record “Exchange”, yet Cole took an interesting turn on the song for this particular album. Deja Vu takes us with Cole as he sets his eyes on a particular girl, but this girl has a boyfriend who just so happens to be one of his homeboys. Cole can’t seem to shake the feelings that he has for this girl, but doesn’t know if it’s worth fighting one of his friends over a relationship that he knows is temporary, seeing that he’s close to following his dream of being a star. This track is a very black and white track that gets the point across with simple lyrics.
“ I know you were made for me but
Darling don’t you wait for me,
Cause I can see the promise land
But I can’t do no promising.”
The sixth track on the album “Change” is a track that speaks plain and simply about hope. Cole talks about his intuition that hope and peace will one day take the place of all of the violence that corrupts our society as of late. Only through meditation does he find the inner peace needed for him to create his music. The lyrics in the chorus
“I know you desperate for a change let the pen glide
But the only real change comes from inside.
In the cemeteries or chains I see men cry
But the only real change comes from inside.”
These lyrics are stating that Cole believes that change isn’t something that comes from the outside, if a person wants change they have to make it happen themselves. While the song speaks of hope, the ending of this song serves as the climax to the album. Cole closes this s
ong with a funeral, the funeral of Cole’s Dreamville brother James. James was a young man murdered at the young age of 22 due to drug affiliation.
The tenth and last track “4 Your Eyez Only” is the nine minute letter from Cole’s lost Dreamville brother James interpreted by Cole, for James’ daughter Nina. This song is one of the deepest tracks to come from Cole, in the sense that it deals with personal issues, as well as social issues and political issues. “4 Your Eyez Only” is a track that takes us through a sped up timeline of James’s short life, as he tells it from his point of view. This track takes the listener into the home, the delivery room, and the jailhouse with James, and allows you to get up close and personal with the issues of selling drugs, having children and trying to seek employment with a felony. By the end of this track, you’ll feel as though James was your personal friend and you’ve known him all your life.
This album was followed by a new single “High for Hours.” “4 Your Eyez is Cole’s fourth album to be #1 on the Billboard charts. The album is available wherever music is sold.